Lyotard’s ‘mercantilisation’ of knowledge’

My attention was drawn to a statement by Lyotard in the initial section : The Field: Knowledge in Computerised Societies’. …’the mercantilisation of knowledge is bound to effect the privilege the nation-states have enjoyed, and still enjoy, with respect to the production and distribution of learning. The notion that learning falls within the purview of the State … will become more and more outdated’ (page 5 of the Manchester edition’. Well, this is a prediction which we can test, and debate the evidence for and against. But is this notion outdated? I can see the implications as regards ‘digital capitalism’ for instance and the democratisation of knowledge. But I still can’t set up a Facebook site that colleagues in China will be able to access, for instance. Nation-states (or at least institutions within nation-states) are also all very much competing for students internationally. The nation-state still seems to be very much a going concern in the distribution of knowledge.


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